Hardened insect forewing / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An elytron (/ˈɛlətrɒn/;[1] from Ancient Greek ἔλυτρον (élutron) 'sheath, cover'; PL elytra, /ˈɛlətrə/)[1][2][3][4] is a modified, hardened forewing of beetles (Coleoptera), though a few of the true bugs (Hemiptera) such as the family Schizopteridae are extremely similar; in true bugs, the forewings are called hemelytra (sometimes alternatively spelled as "hemielytra"), and in most species only the basal half is thickened while the apex is membranous, but when they are entirely thickened the condition is referred to as "coleopteroid".[5] An elytron is sometimes also referred to as a shard.[6]

Hemelytra in Schizopteridae; figures B and C are considered "coleopteroid" as they lack membrane
Ripiphorus fasciatus-complex, female
The elytra of this cockchafer beetle are readily distinguished from the transparent hindwings.